Over the weekend I visited Creative Beadcraft on Marshall St near Carnaby St. Here are some thoughts on my visit….
Appearance and Service: The store has 2 levels, upstairs is a mix of everything including; Swarovski, acrylic, glass, semi precious, chain, metal beads, components and findings. Downstairs is mainly wood beads and pearls. The store is a medium size for a London bead store, bigger than Bead Aura but not quite as big as Beadworks. Beads are laid out around the walls with one central table and a couple of floor stands. The downstairs area is a similar layout. They had a shelf at the top of the stairs with some finished pieces which was quite a nice way of showcasing some beads you may have missed when looking around the store. I spied some lovely neon Swarovski pearl beads in a necklace that I’m already thinking about returning to buy.
The staff were nice enough, one of the women said hello when I arrived and another asked me if needed any help. I was able to find everything quite easily so had no need to ask for any further assistance but they seemed to be quite helpful to other customers.
Stock: They seem to sell a little bit of everything. Some sections are surprisingly good, like wood bead selection downstairs, whereas others, like the semi precious section, need a little more love and attention. The findings selection is also quite basic and disappointingly only stocks gold or silver plated, so no copper, black, antique bronze etc. I did like that they stocked a small selection of pre-cut chain by the meter, again only silver and gold plated but useful nonetheless. The selection ranged from fine to medium chunky. Beads here are mostly sold by the string, however I did like that for the wood beads downstairs they also had options to buy singularly and in bulk packages. Upstairs they also had bulk buy bags of acrylic beads. Personally, I would have also appreciated a bargain bin or clearance section, but you can’t have everything you want!
Prices: Prices are generally reasonable by shop standards. I purchased a strand of pink 16mm wood beads for £3.85, 3 x strands of 20mm brown pucalet coconut shell beads at £0.60 each, 1 x pack of 100 silver jump rings at £1.25, 1 x 1m silver plated chain at £1.25 and 2 x silver toned metal connector beads (to use as earrings) at £0.30 each. In total I spent £10.50. A big tip to remember is that prices are displayed exclusive of VAT, so if you’re on a budget be sure to allow for an extra 20% for tax.
Overall verdict: I purchased more at this store than I have done on my previous London bead shop visits and I would definitely return. I was really excited by the selection of wood beads as I usually find it really hard to source nice ones. Besides the neon pearls, I didn’t really get a good look at the Swarovski section so I’d also be back for this as again prices seemed really reasonable and comparable if not cheaper than some online suppliers. Creative Beadcraft also sell online so if you can’t make it into their store you can always check out the website here.
Until next time!